Duckboats.net
Skip to Content


Quote Reply
Armistice Day


---------------------------------------------------------------------
***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, Kodi, and Otter
Quote Reply
Re: Armistice Day In reply to
As I am sure, some of you know that Dave Hagerbaumer was out in that storm. He and his cousin were lucky to make it out ok. Dave told me that the interesting part of the day was that about 30-45 minutes before the storm arrived vast flocks of ducks appeared. He said large flocks landed near them and all birds immediately started drinking. He said that the only thing he could think of for that is that they had been flying a great distance? He said that very quickly the temp dropped, and then the wind and snow arrived. They were lightly dressed and decided to row back to shore off an island they were on. He said that about half way across it looked like they wouldn't make it. They did, but their coats and pants were solid ice. He knew of another hunter who also made it by burning his wooden decoys to stay warm. That storm was an amazing part of our wildfowling history!
Quote Reply
Re: Armistice Day In reply to
Hunted the Veterans Day storm on the Bays de Noc. Opted to not try and fight wind gusts forecast for 50mph from the southeast, so I stared hard at my notes and map of the Stonington peninsula. I grabbed one leaf bag of bluebills and one of redheads and stacked them in the canoe after sliding it in the truck bed along with a mixed dozen of mallards and drake pintails, hoping the pintails and scaup would show up well in the rain/snow forecast. Way too windy for the Winduk to be set. When I got to the ramp it was apparent that it would be a very good idea to stay as shallow as possible to hide from the wind in the darkness as I worked my way down the shore about a quarter of a mile to a small cove opposite the narrows formed by Saunders Pt. on the upper bay. I had my deer towing harness on under my coat with the pull tab sticking out of my collar in the back and clipped that to a short painter I had tieded to the bow of the canoe, both to retain it in place against the winds and enable me to walk and set the longlines with two hands. This approach mostly worked-out with only one tangle that I had to labor over. Tucked the puddlers along the shore tight in some small cuts, leaving the drake pintails out in the open. By the time I got the canoe stashed and grabbed my folding chair to walk back to the spread birds were already working the spread, setting down in the gaps between the longlines. I shot through over a half box of shells, missing pretty routinely as birds spun through on the wind, before I concluded I would be better served to only shoot birds that were landing. Sleety snow shifted over to driving rain around noon that never let-up, just varying in intensity fprth remainder of the day. Lost the only redhead I hit when it dove when it hit the water and never resurfaced well enough to see to shoot again. Shot my one scaup limit and then watched the parade as they worked and landed, took off, and then returned to land again. Passed some buffies and a couple of golden eyes in hopes of some redheads that never worked-in.. Shot my first juvenile mallard of the season...yeah, ten days prior the season's end I shot a juvenile mallard. Just a truly weird year. I ended mid-afternoon, shooting 22 shells for five birds knocked down and one lost. Shower, clam chowder and bed in that order..after the hour drive home. Today I dry gear and clean-up while I wait for the wind to build from the northwest for Sunday.

Probably going to skip gun deer season if things go well since my back is not going to let me pull a deer out of the woods any distance.

Thankfully, I didn't have to burn my decoys to remain alive in that storm! Here on the Great Lakes, we think of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald as the epic loss in a storm of November. Thanks for the reminder of great hardship and sadly, greater loss.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Nov 12, 2021, 10:40 AM
Quote Reply
Re: Armistice Day In reply to
Quite a story from another Armistice Day storm, thanks for sharing!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
Quote Reply
Re: Armistice Day In reply to
I suspect those birds weren't drinking but trying to dip their bills in the water keep their nares from Icing up further, Worth. We watched some hen scaup doing this that landed off our feet a few yards when we were hunting during Super Storm Sandy's passage a few years back. As our luck would have it, only hens landed that close to us after the first two flocks. Seelig and I were holding-out for drakes and a chance at the the half-dozen cans that were flying on the back edge of one large flock of 'bills. Consequently, we got ample viewing time on their grooming habits during a major storm events passage.
Quote Reply
Re: Armistice Day In reply to
This is a great read about the storm!
We had a similar experience many years ago on the Missouri River near Niobrara Nebraska.
We arrive on a warm sunny fall day, over night the temps started to drop and a NW wind got up. We set up the next morning on a backwater just below a bluff at sunrise it started to snow and with in an hr it was a full on blizzard. Mallards poured over the bluff ( on the north side if the River). I had an Avery Quick set blind on my boat and part of the curtain hung between the boat and blind frame, we had hundreds of Mallards literally tornado into our decoys immediately upon coming over the bluff. There where 8 of us hunting and we limited out on Drake Green heads in two minutes. Spent the next few hrs watching ducks, geese and cranes dump in to get out of the storm. We had birds swimming between the boat and the blind curtain. It was insane.
We had a terrible time getting back across the River to load up the boats. The next morning everything was frozen solid. Will never forget that trip!
Quote Reply
Re: Armistice Day In reply to
Some great stories. Thanks so much.
Allan